New Delhi: Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes even without Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja in the team, India have enough depth to win the T20 World Cup in Australia if they get off to a strong start and added that it is an opportunity to unearth a new champion.
A huge blow was dealt to India as star pacer Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out of the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2022, starting October 16 due to a back injury on Monday. Jadeja is also ruled out of the T20 World Cup as he underwent knee surgery in September.
Axar Patel has been selected for India's T20I XI as a like-for-like replacement for Jadeja while Mohammed Shami has appeared as a frontrunner to take Bumrah's place in India's squad for T20 World Cup. Batting all-rounder Deepak Hooda, who was sidelined from the recent T20I series at home against South Africa, is believed to have recovered from a back injury.
The BCCI are yet to name a replacement for Bumrah, although fellow seamers Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar are among the players already on standby for the tournament.
"[It's] unfortunate. There's so much cricket being played, and people get injured. Bumrah is injured, but it's an opportunity for somebody else. There is nothing you can do with injury," ESPNcricinfo quoted Shastri as saying.
"I think we have got enough strength and we have a good team. I have always believed if you make it to the semi-finals, it could be anyone's tournament. The endeavour would be to start well, get to the semis, and then you have got enough strength to probably win the [World] Cup, for all you know. Bumrah not being there, Jadeja not being there - it hampers the side - but it's an opportunity to unearth a new champion," he further stated.
India commence their T20 World Cup campaign with a blockbuster match against arch-rival Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23.
Following their October 23 encounter against Pakistan at the MCG, they will play on October 27, against a qualifier in Sydney, on October 30, against South Africa in Perth, on November 2, against Bangladesh in Adelaide, and on November 6. (vs qualifier in Melbourne).
India T20 World Cup squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul (vice-capt), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh.
Reserve players: Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi and Deepak Chahar. (ANI)